A House Among the Trees

Pantheon. Jun. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9781101870365. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101870372. F
Tomasina (Tommy) Daulair gets a terrible shock when children's author Mort Lear, famous for the beloved classic Colorquake, dies unexpectedly. Tommy is Mort's longtime assistant, though she is actually more like a wife to the gay author—except for the sex, as Tommy's brother Dani snidely points out. Tommy shares Mort's home, but after his death, she is shocked to learn that Mort has left the house and his entire estate to her; she will also be his literary executor. Meanwhile, Meredith, a high-strung museum curator, insists that Mort's artistic holdings were promised to her. There's also a movie about the young Mort in the works, and the charming British actor who is starring in it shows up. The characters in this complex and fascinating novel find themselves coming to terms with secrets and torments from the past as they learn more about Mort's life.
VERDICT Since her first novel, Three Junes, Glass has explored family dynamics of all kinds with a warm yet never sentimental sympathy. She excels at bringing her many characters to life and at imagining vivid scenes from the rarified world of art and entertainment in this excellent new book.
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